From the Sun to Your Home
Understanding the basics of solar energy
For new or prospective solar customers, understanding solar power may seem overwhelming at first. Fortunately, you don’t need to be an expert on solar power to reduce energy consumption and save money with these innovative solutions.
miEnergy is one of the most trusted solar power companies in Saskatchewan providing solar panels, photovoltaics installations and efficient energy conservation services. Our team of experts are happy to share our vast knowledge base to help our customers understand the basics and the details on how solar energy works.
Solar Video Series
Video 1: How to read your net metering bill
Once you have a solar system installed, the format of your electricity bill will change. In this video, we’ll walk you through understanding your new net metered power bill.
Video 2: Net Metering Explained
Net metering allows consumers who generate some or all of their own electricity to use that electricity anytime, instead of when it is generated.
Video 3: How Solar Works
Solar PV (photovoltaic) cells convert the sun’s energy into electricity. They rely on the the photoelectric effect: the ability of matter to emit electrons when a light is shone on it.
There are four main components of a solar system that are used to convert sunlight into electricity. These are the essentials in any solar install.
- Solar Panels
The hard work of converting sunlight into direct current (DC) sunlight is done by solar panels.
After the solar panels convert sunlight into usable energy, this energy flows into the system’s inverters. Inverters convert the DC electricity to an alternating current (AC). This is the current or type of electricity that is used to bring energy to your space.
- Distribution Panel
The AC flows from the inverter(s) to the distribution panel. The electricity then makes its way to the building to be used by you. Excess electricity can be sent to the utility grid to offer you a bill discount.
- Electric Meter
The meter is used to measure the flow of electricity to and from the utility grid.
Ground Mount vs Roof Mount
Your location will be the largest variable when choosing between a ground mount and a roof mount. Because they use your existing roof structure as a foundation, roof mounts are typically less expensive and take up less room on your property. While they do take up more space, ground mounts are easier to access for installation, maintenance and repair work. They also provide you with more control over the orientation of your array, making adjustments possible to maximize production. Here are a few of the differences:
|G-Series: Ground Mount||R-Series: Roof Mount|
|Applications||Rural acreages and agriculture. Area where space is not an issue||Urban and rural. Any structure with south facing roof exposure|
|Panel Types||Silver frame 72 cell panels||Black frame 60 cell panels|
|Racking||Fence-less construction with 18-ft I-beams||Rail-less racking with black front skirting|
|Inverter Type||String inverter or micro-inverter||String inverter or micro-inverter|
Solar panels can handle all weather from clouds to snow - as long as there is light, your system will convert it to energy!
There’s a lot to know about solar energy. The good thing is, there are a ton of great resources out there! Check out some of these if you’re interested in taking a deeper dive.
- Small scale wind or solar more economical? It’s no contest
- Can Switching to Solar Panels Save Me Money?
- How localized solar will compete with offsite renewables
- 6 Myths About the Solar Market
- Canada’s Solar Market To Enter A New Phase
- Rooftop Solar Brings Higher Home Appraisals
- What is Solar Power? | National Geographic
- How does solar power work, anyway?